For over twenty-five years, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has been far and away the most influential publication having to do with the wrestling business. In fact, I dare say that the entire online wrestling community, this site included, owes a tremendous debt to Dave Meltzer and the Observer. Were it not for the publication, there would have never been any real “insider” news in the net’s infancy, and to be fair, even today, most of the so-called “scoops” posted on websites and newsgroups throughout the world come directly from the Observer. It’s a tremendous weekly (and lately, twice a week) read; if you really want to know the inner workings of the business, do yourself a favor and get a subscription.
My love for the Observer aside, it should come as no shock that Dave has been a polarizing figure for those in the business since he started penning his newsletter all those years ago. Old timers hated him for “giving away the business”; how dare this outsider, this man who has never actually wrestled, peel back the curtain and let his fellow never-were-wannabes see what happens behind the scenes?
One such man who fell into that category was a guy by the name of Herb Abrams. Unless you’re an older fan, you’ve likely never heard of him. But in the early 1990’s, he was a guy most wrestling fans had at least heard of, because he was throwing around all kinds of cash starting up the UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation). (And oh yeah, for those older fans out there, “UWF” is the same name that Bill Watts had used for his promotion a decade earlier; apparently, Watts never bothered to trademark the name, so Abrams picked it up years later.) Cactus Jack, Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff, and Bob Backlund all had runs there.
But there was another grappler who had a go inside UWF rings that we’ve decided to spotlight here at the ‘Crap today, one who was never quite so famous or racked up much of a winning streak. In fact, he lost every match he competed in.
His name? Davey “The Observer” Meltzer.
I can hear you now: “But you said up above that Dave Meltzer never wrestled! What gives?”
That’s right; Dave Meltzer has never actually wrestled. But as I also mentioned above, he does have folks in the business that don’t care for him.
Abrams was one such man. And Davey “The Observer”, who was nothing more than a pudgy, pasty-faced jobber, was his incredibly clever tool designed to show his disdain.
Wait, did I say “clever”? I meant “asinine”.
I will need to fix that in editing, sorry.
Despite having thousands of tapes here at WrestleCrap HQ, we have but one match featuring “The Observer”, a bout against Steve “Dr. Death” Williams. I’m sure there are more, but trust me, we can make our point with just this one.
And actually, to be fair, the match wasn’t so much a match as a massacre, with Doc nailing the his doughy opponent with everything but the kitchen sink. Clotheslines, press slams, you name it – Williams absolutely beat our mulleted hero within an inch of his life.
Still, the beating inside the ring on Meltzer was nothing compared to the commentary, provided by Abrams himself. Just in case someone at home didn’t get the message, Herb pointed out that Williams was mocking him “for some reason or another” as his color commentator, none other than Bruno Sammartino (!!), sounded like he’d rather be anywhere else in the world.
The coup de grace, though, had to have been the post match antics which saw Williams shove a newsletter down poor Davey’s gullet.
So while I could wax on and on about what an incredible asset Dave has been to this industry over the years, I think I’ve probably made my point. After all, how many guys who’ve never competed in the ring before have been so influential that promoters have actually mocked them by creating wrestlers for them to literally pummel?
I can only hope that one day Artie “The Crapper” Reynolds is laying flat on his back, counting the lights.
Herb Abrams: “This guy, he hasn’t even had an offensive move in.”
Bruno Sammartino: “Nah, not at all. Williams is taking his time here. He knows he has this man beat. Meltzer is done.”
Abrams: “It appears as if he is mocking him for some reason or another!”